For millions of people, IKEA is the go-to place for home furnishings, kitchenware and so much more.
But many are now wondering if this well-run Scandinavian retailer stumbled this year during the COVID-19 shutdown.
Complaints are piling up from all around the US and Canada of missed delivery dates, month-long waits for simple deliveries and problems getting through customer service.
Cindy Roettger decided to redo her old bathroom this pandemic summer. She turned to her favorite furniture seller to avoid going into home improvement stores.
"Back in June, I ordered a new vanity from IKEA," Roettger said.
It was a HEMNES vanity and sink, part of their very popular HEMNES line of furniture. It would arrive in two weeks, the website stated.
While waiting for delivery, she bought her bathroom tile and started the project. But it all screeched to a halt on delivery day.
"I actually got a robocall, the morning of July 11, saying that due to mechanical issues the delivery would not take place," she said.
With IKEA's Cincinnati store still closed at the time, she called but got nowhere.
"The automated message automatically stated that, 'Due to so many people trying to contact us, we cannot accept your call at this time,'" she said.
Now, more than a month after the original delivery date, Roettger has no idea when her delivery is coming.
IKEA admits to problems
IKEA attributes this year's delivery problems to months-long store closures and staffing issues in warehouses.
IKEA spokesperson Bria Spivey told us in a statement: "Due to the impact of COVID-19, we are experiencing some supply delays. We appreciate customers' patience while we work with our suppliers to restock their favorite IKEA products."
But Reddit forums are filled with similar complaints from customers across the country wondering how such a well-run retailer experienced such widespread hiccups during the pandemic.
"I'm at my wit's end, and I am starting to panic a little bit because I need a bathroom vanity," Roettger said.
We passed along her case to IKEA's US headquarters, which promised to look into the delay.
The good thing is that with IKEA stores finally reopening this month — including the Cincinnati store near Roettger— the Wall Street Journal expects its delivery delays will ease soon.
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FULL IKEA STATEMENT:
"We strive to maintain availability of all items listed in our catalog and on IKEA.com. However, due to the impact of COVID-19, we are experiencing some supply delays. During this time, we encourage customers to check online or download the IKEA app to determine product availability in their local store prior to their visit. Due to system updates and high demand, there is a chance that an item with low stock may not be available for purchase. Our IKEA co-workers are doing their best to meet the needs of our customers, whom we know look to us for their home furnishing needs. We appreciate their patience while we work with our suppliers to restock their favorite IKEA products."